Rebecca Garrett: Search
Check out the beautiful volume, designed by Alena Koroleva,
Published by the Canadian Film Institute and ConverSalon, 2020.
Table of Contents
Cine Blanc by Jorge Lozano (1980, super 8 film, 35’, collaboration with Jorge Lozano)
Project for a Divided House by Martha Fleming (1981, sculpture, super8 and sound installation)
Public School by Elke Town (1983, multi-media installation)
Crazy Jane and the Torrent Men by Elke Town (1986, video installation)
a moment of pure feeling by Jorge Lozano (1989, 16mm film installation and sculpture)
Secrets by Rebecca Garrett (1990, photo installation)
Soul Containers by Rebecca Garrett (1991, multi-media installation)
Structural Adjustments by Rebecca Garrett (1992, mixed-media installation)
returning takes time by Annie Holmes (1991, video, 18:56’)
an ordered absence by Dot Tuer (1992, mixed-media installation)
Continental Drift by Riaz Mahmood (1994, video, 52:18’)
Mahoso: The Child in a time of Insecurity by Lisa Steele ((1998, video, 9:10’)
Foodland by Spider Campos (1997, video, 5:30’)
Listen by Nell Tenhaaf (2000, video installation)
Scratching the Surface by Rebecca Garrett (2000, two-monitor mobile video installation)
Double Bewitched by John Greyson (2001, video, 5:30’)
Double Bewitched voice-over excerpt (2001, video, 5:30’)
Rooster Rock by Ali Kazimi (2002, video, 32’)
Long Motel Night by Clint Enns (2008, video, 2:46’)
search>geography>erasure>affect by Mike Hoolboom (2011, video, 55:10’)
search>geography>erasure>affect by Flora Campos Garrett (2011, video, 55:10’)
that was then by Mike Hoolboom (2013, video, 2:10’)
Fire in the Hole by Linda Duvall 2017, video performance
search>site>scan>three sisters (movie) by Emily Vey Duke (2018, video, 10’)
search>site>scan>three sisters (performance) by Alexandra Gelis (2018, performance with video projection)
Scarboro Largo by Lancelot the Brave 2018, video, 13:20’)
Mashed Economies by Kim Jackson
Occupy Y/our Worlds by Kim Jackson (2011, performance with video and cake)
Abundant Futures by Kim Jackson (2012, performance)
The Dark Light by Kim Jackson (2014, workshop and performance)
Shelter Video Project by Kim Jackson (2016-ongoing, video workshop)
test#3:shelter by Kim Jackson (2017, outdoor video projection with discussion)
One Community, One Sweat (1995, video, 28:10’) + Bakhayo West Joint Women’s Groups in Action (1995, video, 30’) by Darien Taylor
Breathless by bh Yael (2003, video, 1:55’)
Safe Park by John Clarke (2001, video, 46:30’)
Dehcho Ndehe Gha Nadaots’ehthe: Fighting for Our Land by Wanda Nanibush (2009, video, 56’)
Why are we Marching? by Audrey Huntley (2010, video, 20’)
What World Do You Live In? by Deborah Root (2014, video, 90’)
test#1:cages by Rebecca Garrett (2015, projection actions)
Meeting Place Organic Film Angela ElzingaCheng (2015, video, 57:56’)
Bursting at the Seams by Judy Rebick (2016, video, 20’)
All of Our Laws Relate to that Moment: an interview with Rebecca Garrett (Fall 2019)
Art, Movies, Interventions 1980-2018
Introduction by Mike Hoolboom
There are some artists who will never have to look back from the end of their days and turn their decisions into question marks. Why did I do all that? Rebecca Garrett is one of their number: equal parts artist and activist, it’s as if the two couldn’t be separated, as if the urgencies of homelessness or Palestinian sovereignty couldn’t be peeled away from breakfast, or a new startling collage juxtaposition. Where are we: the global village?
Being an activist. I think it means not simply being able to see through the mirage of corporate media, to understand how disciplines of power operate in the social body. But also and most centrally: to bear witness to someone else’s suffering, to feel these newly vulnerable bodies, these mothers and daughters and uncles as if they were part of your own family. Even if they are being persecuted, tortured, displaced. Especially then.
I want to ask her: how can you bear it? More than occasional answers reside in her four-decades-long makings, a prodigious effort that includes an astonishing number of collectives and collaborations. Her frame is an embrace open to the shifting conditions and requirements of her picture partners, now newly empowered, because she allows them to stand in front of the camera and behind it. These generous media vehicles allow temporary communities to take up residence, whether they are the Dehcho First Nations, some of Toronto’s homeless, or a media collective resisting neo-liberal take downs.
The great Italian feminist historian Sylvia Federici has written often about capitalism’s beginnings (and ongoing reinventions) with a wide scale theft of the commons, coupled with a vicious and systematic attack on women. Over and again, Rebecca re-imagines and reoccupies the commons with/in her work, turning public buildings into projection screens and conversations into activist media. The cinema expands with new urgencies: the home of a tyrant mayor becomes a movie theatre, a parking lot becomes an art gallery, a city park becomes a squatted settlement, a hole in the prairie ground becomes a place where new communities might gather to re-imagine post-capital relations.
The voices and faces of women are central throughout, not only the artist’s ghost sister, but her many collaborative comrades who have become new sisters, new forms of family doing the collective work of social reproduction. Making art is central to the making of these lives: saucepans are handled alongside cameras, marching for Palestine also means showing up for pals who are fading with depression or Alzheimer’s. In the words of Myriam Gurba: she also made kindness.
This volume is made possible through the volunteerism and good will of some of the so many she has touched along the way. This book is also a picture of community as folks weigh in not only on Rebecca’s many works and actions, but also on systems of power, and an exploration of some of the possibilities that artists might explore to resist.